Planning on doing some serious decluttering this weekend?
I recently downsized from a house, then to a 600 square foot condo then to two suitcases full of my stuff that I packed up into my hatchback for my move to Los Angeles. I was able to unload the majority of my stuff online and here’s how you can do it too.
The first thing you have to create is an ad with 3-4 pictures and post it on Craigslist and Kijiji (I’ve had the most success with these two sites). Ads work best when you keep it short and sweet: the condition, ideas for use, price, why you are selling and the intersection of where you are located.
Here are a few of my tips/tricks to getting rid of you stuff online:
1) Have a No-Hold Policy – The person says they’re going to show up FOR SURE on Sunday and wants to know if you could please hold the item for them. No way Jose! It’s first-come, first-serve or you’ll never get rid of your stuff. Somewhere, somehow, anyone who has ever asked me to hold something for them never shows up! They tend to be the flakiest of all.
2) Cash & Pick-up Only – No personal cheques, Paypal scams or credit cards. Check all the bills to make sure they’re legit. Don’t offer to deliver anything unless the person offers to pay extra. Otherwise it’s not worth the drive out to the middle of nowhere just to unload something worth $100.
3) No Shows – Selling stuff online means sometimes dealing with a no show. The best way to avoid this is to arrange pick-up on a night you already plan on being home. I like Sunday evenings after 4pm, that way if they flake – it’s less of a big deal.
4) Tell Your Network – Once you’ve posted up all your ads, share them on Facebook, twitter or via email to your friends & family. You never know who might be in the market for a Billy bookcase.
5) Will it Fit? – Include measurements in your ad, so the buyer can decide whether or not your Grandma’s armoire will fit into their Honda Civic. I find it easier to leave the item assembled so they can see it in one piece and then offer to take apart and load it into the person’s car after.
6) Set Your Price – Most Ikea pieces retain around 50% of their value if the item is in good condition. If the item is new, say so in your ad and list the retail price with taxes so the buyer can get an idea of its value. Decide on the lowest price you are willing to let the item go for, and get ready for negotiations.
7) Ask Your Realtor – If you have just sold a home, ask your realtor if he/she would like to buy any of the pieces for staging. Ask the new owners if the would like to purchase any existing items. It’s the easiest and most hassle-free this way before you start listing stuff online.
8) Repost Your Ad – Didn’t find a buyer in the first 45 days? Repost your ad when it expires so it ends up back on top. Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing or the right person searching for your specific item. If you need to get rid of your stuff right away, consider re-listing with a price drop.
9) Always Be Safe – Never meet someone alone. Have someone at your house with you, or go downstairs to your lobby or front porch with the item in hand. You can even meet the person at a public space like a coffee shop on your lunch break or after work. Better safe, than sorry. If your gut has a bad feeling about something – listen to it and walk away.
10) Sell Books Online – I’ve had a bit of success selling my books online with BookScouter.com. What I like best about it is that shipping is free for many of reseller book sites. Go to BookScouter.com and see how much you can get for your books!
Have you ever sold anything online? Any success stories or bargains that you’ve found online?